An Open Letter to the Sexually Abused
I know. I know it hurts, some days. And, I know that, other days, it's the last thing on your mind. Yet, after the abuse, there is healing. I promise. There is hope for days when it doesn't pop up in your mind. There is hope for a life, where your past does not affect the decisions and thoughts you have.
I know the person in the mirror isn't as lovely as they were before the abuse. I know that person is disgusted with themselves, with life, with faith, with everything. I know. I also know that, one day, the person in the mirror is going to look you straight in the eyes and have pride. Because, you made it this far. You lived this long. You overcame the abuse. I know this person in the mirror might not be happy now, but they will be, in time.
I know that you don't trust others, easily, especially in intimate relationships. I know you feel guilty for enjoying yourself. I know you feel ashamed that you have been used. I know that you don't want to be touched, because you are afraid thoughts will come rushing in of your abuse. It's hard. Trust me, I know. Yet, I know that people will be patient with you. I know significant others will be slow and gentle. I know that you will learn how to be comfortable in your skin, again, and how to share that comfort with someone who doesn't want to harm you. I know you will delight in someone else, for yourself and for them. I know it seems far away, but, it will happen. I know you will make it there.
I know it's hard to tell your loved ones how often you think of what you've been through. I know they want you to open up, because they think it will help. But, it doesn't. I know you don't want to say, word for word, what was done to you. I know saying it, writing it, hearing it hurts. It won't get easier, this is a part of your life that will always be a scar on your skin. However, you don't have to share the story behind the scar. And, I know you will find a way to heal, without spilling every detail. I know you will learn to move past the scar on your skin, I know you will teach your thoughts to focus on good things. I know it's hard to use your voice, but, you will learn how to use it and how often to use, when to use it and when to let it go. I know it seems impossible to let go of this part of your story, but, it is possible. One day, it will be a footnote, and you will be chapters away from it.
I know. I know it hurts. And, this painful past will always be present. Yet, I know, that after the abuse, you will be constantly healing. And, while your past is a part of who you are, it does not have to be a part of your present day life. You can, and I know you will, leave it behind. It will take time, it will take self discipline. It will take bad days and good days. It will take failed relationships and a beautiful love. It will take friends you let go of and friends you cling to. It will take family members you lean on and strangers that show you kindness still exists. It will take time. You will make it, though. I know you will. Trust me, I know.
I know all of this because I am there. I am always healing. I am always deciding when and how to share my story, if I want. I am always challenging my comfort zones, so that I can adjust to life outside of fear. I am always moving forward. Some days I am curled up in the shower, tears mixing with the running water. Other days I am laughing with friends, the kind of laughter that causes my chest to hurt and my eyes to water, because I never imagined I could be this happy in life. After all I have been through, I am here. I am with you. I am writing this love note for you.
I am leaving the comment section on this post open, if this letter helps, please, let me know. I'd love to continue to share my journey with you, in this way. Even a simple like on this post will show me that you want to read more letters like this. And, if you need a shoulder or a listening ear, you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org - I will get back to you. I will be there for you. I had no one, I want to be someone for you.
sending light + love your way, brave soul.